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Graphair Water Filter — A Graphene Film Making Polluted Water Drinkable

a photo containing an image of a hand holding up a glass of water with the words "Graphene film makes dirty water drinkable" beside it amid the existence of the Graphair water filter

Studies say that humans can live without food for 3 days. But without water, 7 days is already too long for any human to survive. Around 844 million people around the world do not have access to clean and drinkable water, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The lack of drinkable water is also not the only problem. Many also face the threat of the following diseases known to be caused by polluted water: typhoid, diarrhea, polio, dysentery and cholera. And most of the victims of these ailments, unfortunately, are kids. These daunting facts have triggered a team of Australian researchers to develop a new form of technology that has the ability to purify water in just a single step. Thus, enters the existence of the Graphair water filter.

Indeed, the scientists and researchers from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)—a well-known agency accountable for scientific research in Australia—have made a major breakthrough after they created Graphair.

A Bold Solution: Graphair Water Filter

Graphair is a type of graphene that filters water. Unlike other methods of cleaning water, it makes even dirty seawater drinkable in just one process or filter.

Graphene is deemed as the world’s strongest material as it acts as a tremendous conductor of both electricity and heat. Nevertheless, who would have thought that a one-atom-thick resilient carbon material—which is very expensive to generate—could be a valuable water filter?

According to Dr. Dong Han Seo, the lead author of the Graphair technology and a scientist at CSIRO: “In Graphair, we’ve found a perfect filter for water purification. It can replace the complex, time-consuming, and multi-stage processes currently needed with a single step.” He also adds, “This technology can create clean drinking water, regardless of how dirty it is, in a single step.”

All About Graphair

Graphair is much more affordable and easier to produce than graphene. It is composed of a graphene film with microscopic nano-channels that lets the water pass through and prevents larger contaminants like salt. Graphair is also faster than other methods. In comparison with other water filtration method, the filtration rate of a Graphair water filter is longer because it has membranes that are 4 cm2 in size, managing about 0.5 liters a day.

This breakthrough technology—in relation to the Graphair water filter —is made from soybean oil and was actually completed last year. But it formulated a name for itself only after Graphair became successful in its attempt to purify the water from Sydney Harbour. Sydney Harbour is considered one of the world’s most beautiful waterways. However, in Australia, researchers believe that is it also one of the most heavily polluted. The study shows that the Graphair had filtered the water in just a single pass, making it clean and drinkable.

a photo of a gray and white drawing of a Graphair water filter system with arrows and words
Graphair makes it possible for clean water to be available anytime, anywhere

Scientists and researchers from the University of Technology Sydney, University of Sydney, and the Queensland University of Technology helped the team from CSIRO to create the graphene film—that is, the Graphair water filter. They are now hoping that industry leaders and partners will help them discover other ways of how graphene could be used in people’s everyday lives.

Companies Filling-In The Market Of Graphene 

Following are some of the companies, big and small that are delving into the world of graphene:

  • Accurion –The Germany-based company creates and supplies top-line Active Vibration Isolation and Imaging Ellipsometry equipment, which is a measuring device for graphene. The company was established because of a merger between Nanofilm Technology and Halcyonics.
  • Cambridge Graphene – Founded in 2014, the company was a spin-off from Cambridge University in order to sell graphene inks. The production method of Cambridge Graphene is centered on a liquid-phase exfoliation technology that has the ability to change graphite into graphene using a water-based solution.
  • Das-nano – The company is based in Spain and manufactures nanomaterial inspection tools. When it comes to the industry of graphene, Das-nano bids its Onyx system—which can be utilized to get information on the homogeneity and consistency of graphene supplies.
  • Intel – Intel Corporation is a well-known company in the United States that develops semiconductor chips. Notably, the company is also an avid fan of the graphene. Reports have suggested that Intel wants graphene to be incorporated in their electronic devices.

These are just some of the companies that use the prowess of graphene to help innovate the way people live.

In the Future of the Technology of the Graphair Water Filter

CSIRO researchers and scientists are still in the first stage of what could be a phenomenal discovery. With the great technology that the world is experiencing now, Graphair will have the capability to be enhanced even more, especially on the matter of a Graphair water filter. Thus, it can surely help the world survive the need for clean, safe water.

The bold idea to purify water in just a single filter is a little bit ambitious and unrealistic. But because of the continuous effort made by concerned organizations, impossible things will still always be possible.

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